The Winner is – Affinity Publisher (and related Affinity programs).

I have been testing the three big Book layout and design software tools for the past year or so. After building books in Scribus, Adobe Indesign, and Affinity Publisher I have settled on my new platform going forward. The Winner is Affinity Publisher (and related Affinity programs).

The Affinity group of programs , Affinity Designer, Affinity Photo and Affinity Publisher together cover all the major tools in the Adobe Creative Cloud for a quarter of the price. Unlike Adobe, Affinity sells an old school license allowing you to use the software for as long as you like vs a subscription model. Currently a years Adobe Creative Cloud subscription is about $720 and Buying the full Affinity group of programs is about $170. A huge difference for very equivalent tools.

If Affinity was buggy or limited in scope you might say that you get what you pay for, but from my experience the Affinity programs are stable and have all the ability that you would expect. With any complex program there is a learning curve. For folks that use Adobe programs the tools are there but may be in a different place or accessed differently. For those who have never used a page layout program the learning curve is steep. Just like Adobe, the best advise is as often found on YouTube as on their help offerings.

What is missing or do I miss in Affinity? Not much. The Adobe subscription gives access to Adobe fonts for as long as you subscribe (and are currently on line for Adobe to verify your account is active). The availability of free and low cost fonts to meet most needs makes that convenient but not essential. The Creative Clout offers a convenient way to share in progress files online for comment. This is useful. But there are other ways to do this. I am currently testing FileStage which seems quite good even in their ‘free’ version. Lastly I miss using Linux. The biggest downside of both Adobe and Affinity is that they are only available in Mac and Windows versions. Scribus is the only serious Linux choice for book design, It is a good program, but lacks some of the features that Affinity offers.

In short the hunt is over – Affinity provides the tools I need and the fixed price lets me keep the cost of designing books as low as possible.

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